Should it stay or go? The Village wants to know your opinion on the Roller Skate Rink at the Community Fields

Posted on 03 October 2017 by Editor

The Village of Sloatsburg’s skate park has fallen into disrepair due to its particular location at the Community Fields — the concrete surface has undergone repeated flooding and cycles of freezing and thawing, leaving the rink unrepairable.

Note: This article has been updated. The Sloatsburg Roller Skate Park is a colorful illustration of Mother Nature’s persistent power to undermine and undo things made by human hands. The Skate Rink at the Community Fields was built in the 1980s during the resurgence of public skating and roller blading. It now exists in a state of limbo — currently both unusable and unrepairable.

A view of the fenced bleachers and boards at Sloatsburg’s Roller Skate Rink at the Community Fields.

Sloatsburg Deputy Mayor and two term Trustee Peter Akey is tasked with resolving the skate park dilemma, which could be loosely summed up by paraphrasing the Clash … should it stay or should it go?

Akey said the low location of the park near the Ramapo River, flooding from super storms Floyd, Irene and Sandy, plus successive cycles of freezing and thawing have undermined the rink. The Village bonded $130,000 to repair the rink via a Village Engineer rough assessment, but a much more detailed and recent inspection by Copeland Coating Company put the cost at some $200,000 (which would include lighting, bleachers, boards, penalty boxes, rink surface and dimensions for hockey).

A view of the boards and dilapidated rink surface of Sloatsburg’s Roller Skate Rink, which was used at one-time for league and local play. The surface has been compromised from repeated flooding, freeze and thaw cycles and general abuse from Mother Nature, due to its setting in a low field near the Ramapo River.

Copeland repaired and refinished Sloatsburg’s Community Fields tennis courts, and said the rink is not salvageable. Akey said the Copeland assessment recommended that the skate rink be entirely rebuilt.

The conundrum is whether the village should invest in a new skate hockey rink or convert the land use to additional fields, such as a regulation lacrosse field or field hockey playing surface, both of which would experience greater use over time.

Currently Suffern and Monroe have skate park leagues that Sloatsburg kids can join. Members of the Suffern Police Department manage and operate the Suffern DARE Street Hockey League on Yorkshire Drive in Suffern, with the program has been up and running since 1998.

The question of whether to replace or move on from the Sloatsburg skate hockey experiments is rooted in whether the community could rally a viable league and ever see a return on the investment. Sloatsburg rents out the Community Fields playing fields for league play, using the property as a village revenue stream that helps with maintenance and upkeep for the community’s use.

Working with the Village of Sloatsburg, a simple poll was created to allow the Village to gauge community interest and opinion on the roller skate rink park. The poll that originally ran with the article has expired and was taken off line. Thank you all for participating.

Results of the poll during its run:
225 no votes (64%)
116 yes votes (33%)
12 other votes (3%)

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10 Comments For This Post

  1. Karen Says:

    I think it should stay if enough people want it to stay. Maybe volunteers could help cut the costs of renovation.

    I would like to see a dog park put in at the park. Costs would be minimal and maintenance would be minimal as well.

  2. Editor Says:

    According to surface experts, the rink cannot be renovated which would be a general restoration of existing structure and materials. The rink concrete surface is much too compromised and a new surface would need to be installed. Generally, a whole new rink would have to be installed.

  3. Lisa Solimine Says:

    I posted over a year ago how awful it was….see if we can raise money to repair it, id be willing to dedicate my time to volunteer to re vamp it. We need something cool in this town.

  4. Editor Says:

    The rink can’t be repaired given it’s current condition. The surface is not reparable.

  5. Jeanmarie byman Says:

    I have never once seen the river flood the skating rink.
    The rink was never maintained and was allowed to fall into disrepair.
    200 k to repair is a joke, get rid of it now, would have been nice to keep but to much money

  6. Editor Says:

    The ground underneath the rink absorbed water, undermining the concrete surface. The $200 is not for repair but replacement. Once a concrete surface is cracked like the rink is, it can’t be repaired.

  7. Patrick Glasson Says:

    It should stay. There are a number of issues here. I would be willing to both explain the implications on the record and dedicate my time and construction skill to repairing the facility.

    1. Never should have been closed in the first place. 10+ people I know of as well as myself were using the facility for hours multiple days per week with no issues. If you know how to skate a few cracks aren’t a big deal. Besides you learn from falling. This raises a huge issue with the character of our society which is total lack of accountability. Anyone who sees the condition of the rink and decides to skate anyway should be help to the consequences of their actions meant no complaining and no suing. It really wasn’t that bad. We had a 7 person pick up game two days before the rink was locked and I practiced for about two hours the day before it was locked. We were consistently picking up the debris and pulling the weeds to keep it as clean as possible.

    2. The problem is not weather and age, the problem is lack of respect for the rules and lack of enforcement. I witnessed many times children and adults alike playing soccer, lacrosse and general street play in rink. The facility is not designed for that. The boards and nets are designed to withstand the impact of roller hockey balls not soccer balls or lacrosse balls or kids climbing on them etc. The rules were posted on the sign but for whatever reason parents did not control their children or adults in general didn’t care. Most hockey ricks have a sign that says Hockey use only or takes priority and anyone there to play hockey has the right to kick out anyone there who is using the facility in an improper manner.

    3. Lastly the decision to tear down and not replace the rink would be a giant slap in the face to all local patrons. First off the park has plenty of open green space so adding more would not add any value to the park. Secondly the rink was the only open local rink in the area which provided an added utility to the park that would bring more activity to the village. Now without it all the patrons in the area who might have come and played some hockey then gone to Dunkin donuts or the gas station or deli or wherever and spent money in town no longer come. Taking that a step further the value of where you live is determined by the number of assets you have access too. With the rink closed that is one less asset in close proximity to my home which means now my property has less utility and is therefore worth less so My property tax should have decreased because I am no longer receiving as good of a service for my money as I was previously. Moving forward with this again. Using tax dollars to demolish and not replace the rink would be ludacris. I know a lot of people don’t think is those terms but the reality of the situation would be that you are using my money to destroy something I want without my permission. That is the kinda of thing that creates disparity and hostility between the community members and the local officials which is not good for anyone.

    These are the reasons why the rink needs to be opened and/or repaired. Again I’m willing to help renovate if that begins. Myself and family members have skills specific to this area of work. Please feel free to contact me if you wish.

  8. B Says:

    If it was maintained and repaired as needed it wouldn’t have to be rebuilt

  9. Chris Treadwell Says:

    I applaud the village for reaching out to the people, they could have easily demolished the rink without our input.. This shows that they care and are not just looking at dollar signs. I have seen the rink first hand and have read the article. That’s an awful lot of money to spend on ten people who may occasionally play. Quite the quandary, I am glad I don’t have to make that final decision. I am happy to vote and be part of the process. Thanks Village Board good luck with your decision.

  10. E Smith Says:

    OMG – is this a joke? Honey, it’s not 1985 – bulldoze the damn thing already. With regard to Pat, the presumptive patriarch of the patrons, with his ludicrous spelling of “ludacris” (yes, the rapper) plus his sage advice that people simply skate around the cavernous cracks, I must revive my popular hashtag – #sloatsburgstupid. Pat, honey, since we’re demolishing the rink perhaps you can spend your free time in the library. I think you will find a whole lot of value for your property taxes there.

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